Nduduzo Tshuma Political Editor
MDC leader Professor Welshman Ncube has been forced into a reshuffle of his top team after Paul Themba Nyathi became the latest senior official to quit his position as treasurer.
Nyathi last night confirmed to The Chronicle that he had stepped down, bust insisted that he would remain a “card-carrying member”, while focusing his attention on civil society work.
Nyathi joins more than a dozen other senior officials who have either resigned from their positions or the party entirely due to widening cracks within the party’s leadership.
Other senior members who have left the party include the chairman Goodrich Chimbaira, policy director Qhubani Moyo and spokesman Nhlanhla Dube while deputy chairperson Frank Chamunorwa and secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga stepped down from their positions.
Chimbaira, after his resignation, rejoined the MDC-T.
Some of the officials reportedly fell out with Prof Ncube after they were accused of backing Tendai Biti to lead the United MDC after the amalgamation of MDC and the MDC Renewal Party whose negotiation is underway.
The unification seems to have hit a brick wall, however, with the MDC Renewal in a recent meeting in Bulawayo resolving to go it alone and concentrate on holding its congress towards the end of this year.
Nyathi, who was on Sunday replaced by his deputy Theresa Marimazhira Muchovo, said he had not been demoted from the post but had taken the decision to step down.
“I’m now old and there’re things that I’m doing that are important. Not that the party business is not important, but there’s a job I’m doing in the civil society that I want to concentrate my efforts on,” he said.
He said he remains an ordinary card carrying member.
The MDC Standing Committee reportedly met in Gweru on Sunday and made various appointments to fill gaps left by the senior leaders.
Party sources revealed that Muchovo will be deputised by Jealous Sansole while former director of strategy, planning and implementation Miriam Mushayi was also appointed to deputise Moses Mzila Ndlovu as deputy secretary-general.
The party, according to sources, also appointed former head of the disciplinary committee Jacob Moyo to replace Chimbaira as national chairman and he would be deputised by national executive member Muyambi Nkiwane.
Former director of elections Ellen Shiriyedenga replaces Mushayi and is deputised by Linus Mushonga who was, before the appointments, deputy organising secretary.
MDC national spokesperson Joshua Mhambi yesterday declined to comment, saying: “I’ll neither deny nor confirm what you’re asking. I’ll compile the list of all the new appointments that will be communicated to you when the time is right.”